After seeing The Watchmen last Friday, I’m both less disappointed and more disappointed in it than I thought I would be.
Let me try to explain.
I knew that they were making some pretty major story changes in the movie adaptation, which made me pretty nervous. No Black Freighter? No alien invasion? But I was actually ok with the more substantial changes that they made to the movie. They streamlined the story for movie-goers without going against its big themes. So, yeah. Surprisingly fine.
What killed me were all the little things–the changes that didn’t seem to do anything but make the story clunkier or less powerful. Some I found most irksome:
- Why the hell does Janey Slater barge into the television studio during Dr. Manhattan’s interview? And why is she all… sweet, and not bitter and shit?
- Why are the people that Laurie and Dan save from the burning building all happy and grateful when it would have been just as easy to make them ungrateful and cranky like they’re supposed to be?
- Why the infinite, infinitely awkward sex scene with Laurie and Dan after said rescue, and why set to Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujuh,” which is the only bad version of the song, despite the fact that he wrote the damn thing?
- Why so many shots of pooling blood? It’s like the most unexciting way to film blood. Look at your “we are filming blood” options, here–splattering, spilling, gushing, spurting… And you’re gonna go wild on the pooling? Really?
- Why bring Hollis into the story if yer not going to kill him off proper-like on Halloween?
- Why the ending that refuses to end, and Dan’s riduculous “NOOOOO” that reminds me of Tommy Wiseau’s hysterical “WHHHYYYYYY?” at the end of The Room.
- Why do they give Dr. Manhattan’s last line–and arguably the most pinnacle piece of dialog in the novel– to Laurie, who also happens to be played by the worst actress since Andie MacDowell?
And so on…